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The Next Generation of Finance Execs: Harness Their Enthusiasm and Start Mentoring

Mentoring programs can benefit young team members, as well as veteran associat

While it's one thing to like the concept of mentoring, it's quite another to actually implement a process around it. In fact, many mentoring programs at companies, even formal ones, tend to fall apart. However, while the war for finance talent continues to wage, more experienced executives can't afford to let younger employees stumble their way around the bottom of the corporate ladder. Millennial workers will benefit from input and assistance from those on the higher rungs, in terms of their career and - to your benefit - their motivation for staying with the company. If they feel someone is vested in them, they will (most likely) stay vested in their current spot.

The Benefits of Mentoring
Mentoring programs can provide companies with multiple advantages aside from ensuring younger workers have the skills they need progress within a company and turn in quality work. According to experts interviewed by CBS News, employees who mentor other workers are less stressed and more productive, which makes such a program a plus for both parties.

Here are a few ways you can make the most of internal mentoring and ensure teams are provided with the guidance they need.

Utilize Everyone's Skills
If your business employs multiple young finance professionals eager to learn more and climb the corporate ladder, it may be easy to pair them up another finance professional within the company so they can learn more from those who achieved their own ambitions. However, they can also benefit by learning about the business from a variety of positions. After all, finance organizations have their hand in every aspect of the company and the numbers mean little when they don't know the whole story. Find ways to pair up your younger employees with veterans from another department, and you may all learn something. In turn, your younger employees may learn valuable client communication, presentation, and sales skills outside your immediate group.

Structure the Program For Maximum Effectiveness
Deciding to launch a mentoring initiative is a great idea, but it's one that can easily fail if no set guidelines are in place. Meetings or training sessions can be delayed or forgotten and never rescheduled, which makes it impossible for firms to ensure their employees are getting the most out of their position and are enthused about their tasks.

Mandate weekly meetings or check-ins so both mentors and younger employees don't miss out on this valuable opportunity. It may also be helpful to ask mentors to outline objectives or plan out what they think is most important for a new associate to learn from their instruction. These goals can change over time, but setting them in advance helps a mentor stay on track and ensure he or she is providing the best example for younger employees.

However, it's important not to take over a program and micromanage all aspects of a mentor's relationship with a younger associate. These partnerships can be much more beneficial and productive when there's not a strong degree of corporate involvement, so it's important to leave employees in these positions to their own devices most of the time.

Don't be Afraid to Challenge Traditional Mentoring Conventions
Young employees need to learn from those with experience, but they can also teach older staff members a thing or two. Allowing millennials to provide guidance to their own mentors can make the experience more rewarding for both parties and ensure everyone reaps the benefits of a close relationship. This also serves to ensure new hires are making the most of their own skills by instructing others and learning how to teach, give feedback and offer helpful suggestions - skills they'll need in the future.

Make Yourself Available 
Mentoring doesn't have to be time consuming. It could involve just a regularly scheduled quarterly lunch with the one you're guiding. In return for your time, you could learn valuable insight about new ideas (younger employees tend to be particularly full of them), feel gratified by helping someone else, impart knowledge you may not have another way of sharing and experience a new appreciation for your own career path. Who knows, you may also find yourself mentoring a future CFO.